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Maxwell School
Maxwell / Department of Political Science

Field Requirements

Security Studies

Field coordinators: To be determined

Choosing to minor in Security Studies requires successful completion of a number of substantive courses as well as additional reading outside of these courses. Students pursuing the minor should complete at least three courses in the field during their first four semesters in the doctoral program. They will then sit for Qualifying Exams in the August following their fourth semester. 

Students who are pursuing advanced language training that is pertinent to their field of study may request modifications of this schedule. Changes for this or any other reason must be approved in writing by the Director of Graduate Studies.

Students who intend to seek academic positions upon completion of their dissertation should discuss with their advisor whether majoring in IR and minoring in Security Studies will unduly narrow the categories of jobs for which they will be competitive. All students pursuing the Security Studies minor must complete at least one course in at least two of the four conventional subfields of political science (American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations, and Political Theory).

Course Work

Students who minor in Security Studies are required to take PSC 749: International Security Theory and at least two of the following courses:

PSC 700/PAI 730 Homeland Security: Federal Political and Implementation Challenges 
PSC 700/PAI 786 Humanitarian Action 
PSC 706/PAI 718 U.S. National Security: Defense and Foreign Policy
PSC/PAI 719 Fundamentals of Post-Conflict Reconstruction
PSC 754 International Conflict & Peace
PSC 759 Crisis Management
PSC 785 Comparative Civil-Military Relations
ANT 673 Peace & Conflict in the Balkans
ANT/PAI 701 Multilateral Peacekeeping
PAI 717 International Security
PAI 727 Responding to Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction
PAI 730 U.S. Defense Strategy and Military Operations
PAI 730/LAW 883 Central Challenges in National Security 
LAW 730 National Security Law
LAW 790 Counterterrorism and the Law
LAW 817 Military Law & Procedure
HST 600 History of the National Security State
HST 690 War in Modern History
HST 690 The Global Cold War

No course may be double-counted for the Security Studies minor and for an additional field. Students should select specific courses in close consultation with their advisors and the Director of Graduate Studies. 

Qualifying Examinations

In addition to completing the required course work, all students minoring in Security Studies should engage in significant reading outside of class in preparation for their qualifying examination. For students receiving summer stipends from the department, we expect the first two summers to be devoted in significant part to this activity. The faculty expect students to exercise their own judgment and initiative in identifying and reading what they take to be the leading works in the field. There is no formal reading list, but all members of the faculty stand ready to offer guidance to students in identifying such works.  

The written portion of the Qualifying Exams will be offered twice yearly, typically in August and January. At least three months prior to taking their written exams, students should inform Candy Brooks of their intention to sit for the exams. The 5.5-hour written exam will be closed book, although students may bring one double-sided 8.5x11 inch sheet of notes to the exam. The exam will consist of five or more questions drawn from the range of substantive areas of inquiry within the field. Each student must answer two of these questions. Each essay will be weighted equally, and the faculty recommend that students devote roughly equal amounts of time to drafting each of them.

Students who are minoring in Security Studies and majoring in IR may not answer a question from the International Security section on the IR exam.

Last updated: May 20, 2014